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" You make your mistakes to learn how to get to the good stuff. "
" I met Ray Charles at 14, and he was 16. But he was like a hundred years older than me. "
" I was raised in Chicago and I guess that was one of the special breeding grounds for gangsters of all colors. That was the Detroit of the gangster world. The car industry was thugs. "
" Without the Fender bass, there'd be no rock n' roll or no Motown. The electric guitar had been waiting 'round since 1939 for a nice partner to come along. It became an electric rhythm section, and that changed everything. "
" A great song can make a terrible singer sound good, but a good singer - you put a great song on top of that, you're really in great shape! "
" I live on the Internet. "
" Unfortunately, America doesn't have a minister of culture, and I don't understand why. It's really bad for young people. "
" My earliest memories are being pinned to a fence with a switchblade. "
" Bebop and hip-hop, in so many ways, they're connected. A lot of rappers remind me so much of bebop guys in terms of improvisation, beats and rhymes. My dream is to see hip-hop incorporated in education. You've got the youth of the world in the palm of your hand. "
" When you produce an album, you're dealing with it theatrically. It has to have a structure, and the inner response to that is that the ear loves it. "
" After I learned the piano, I went on to learn percussion, the tuba, b-flat baritone, French horn, trombone, trumpet, most of the instruments in the orchestra. Trumpet was my instrument. "
" I'm a great believer in letting lyrics just flow out, wherever they come from. "
" You cannot get an A if you're afraid of getting an F. "
" I've met every freak in the business. "
" I lost my mother when I was 7 and they put her in a mental hospital. My brother and I watched her being taken away in a strait jacket. That's something you never forget. And my stepmother was like in the movie 'Precious.' I couldn't handle it. So I said to myself, 'I don't have a mother. I don't need one. I'm going to let music be my mother.' "
" I was inspired by a lot of people when I was young. Every band that came through town, to the theater, or the dance hall. I was at every dance, every night club, listened to every band that came through, because in those days we didn't have MTV, we didn't have television. "
" I'd been in love before - I was always in love. "
" Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing. "
" Sidney Poitier and Sidney Lumet were instrumental in helping me get started as the first black composer to get name credit for movie scores. "
" My son is a hip-hop producer. "
" I started imagining this whole different world. It was a society of musicians, a family I hoped I could belong to one day. "
" We stole a box of honey jars one time and went out in the woods and took care of the whole box. I don't think I touched honey again for 20 years. I never wanted to see honey again. "
" When I was 14, I would sit up in my room and write till my eyes would bleed. "
" All guys get into music because they love music and they also want to get the girls. "
" Few rappers realize the genre sprang from West African griots through Delta slave songs to jazz poetry and the comedic trash talk of 'the dozens.' "
" I'm just a musician and a record producer. "
" I got a scholarship to Seattle University and I was writing arrangements for singers and everybody. But the music course was too dry and I really wanted to get away from home. "
" I hope that on my tombstone it says 'Born 1933, died 2043.' I hope that's my legacy. "
" The climate in the '50s and '60s for black performers or black people in the entertainment business was atrocious. It was atrocious. "
" Seattle is like a global gumbo, a melting pot with all kinds of people - the rich, the poor, white people, some Chinese, Filipino, Jewish and black people - they're all here. "
" I'm probably the only one in the world you can name that's worked with Billie Holiday, Louie Armstrong, Ella, Duke, Miles, Dizzy, Ray Charles, Aretha, Michael Jackson, rappers. 'Fly Me to the Moon' was played on the moon by Buzz Aldrin. Sinatra. Paul Simon. Tony Bennett. I'm the only one. "